Urging our nation's leaders to end hunger

Lenten Reflections: Do It Now

'give' photo (c) 2010, Tim Green - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Ecclesiastes 11:1-10  
Mark 10:17-31
2 Corinthians 3:7-18

By Phil Hanna

The gospel lesson for today is the familiar story of the rich young ruler (though only Matthew calls him young and only Luke calls him a ruler) who asks Jesus how to inherit eternal life.

Jesus answers that he must observe the commandments.  But he does not list all of them.  He omits the first four, which concern our relation to God, and lists the next five, four of which tell us what not to do to our fellow humans. The one positive commandment—honor your father and mother—he puts last, rather than the first, on this list. He omits the commandment against coveting. Is this because he thought the man was too rich to covet anymore? And he adds to the ten commandments one about not defrauding people. Is this because he knew the man got rich that way?

When the man claims he has followed all of these commandments since his youth, Jesus adds another new one. He tells the man to sell all his many possessions and give the proceeds to the poor.

The man is unwilling to do this. Like most of us, his possessions make him comfortable. Like most of us, he will make a will, and only give away his possessions after he dies.

The call to us to “Do it now!” is too hard for us to follow.

The Teacher in today’s chapter of Ecclesiastes was full of “Do it now!” In verse 1, he tells us to send our bread (that is, give our money) upon the waters (that is, send it out even if we are not sure where it will end up). In verse 2, he tells us to send what we have to as many needy as we can, now, because disaster may prevent us in the future. In verse 3, we should be like the clouds that are full; let our goodness fall as the rain falls. In verse 4, he criticizes those who want to wait for perfect weather before sowing or reaping.  If we always wait for the perfect time to do something, we will never do anything.

There is work for one and all

Do it now, do it now.

Hear the Master to thee call.

Do it now, do it now.

. . .

Can you help an erring one?

Do it now, do it now.

Stay not for “tomorrows sun,”

Do it now, do it now.

M. M. Lightcap  

Phil Hanna is a member of New York Avenue Presbyterian Church, in Washington, D.C. This post is reprinted, with permission,  from NYAPC's 2013 Lenten Meditations booklet.


« Record Day of Advocacy in Kansas and Nebraska Beckmann Testifies Before Congress, Asks for Increased Funding for Nutrition »


Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Lenten Reflections: Do It Now:

Stay Connected

Bread for the World